Rain plays havoc at bowls champs – Bowls Nationals

Thanks to Grant Hassall and the Taranaki Daily News for the latest Lawn Bowls news from Auckland…

Rain had the final say at the New Zealand bowls championships in Auckland yesterday.

Only one round was completed, mostly on artificial surfaces, in both the women’s pairs and men’s singles, before play was abandoned during the second round of matches, most of which were not completed.

The women’s pairs qualifying criteria was reduced to two wins from the four completed rounds. Eventually it was decided to put all the men’s singles competitors into Monday’s sudden death rounds.

However, that had only come about after numerous complaints over the initial decision that only first-round winners would qualify.

The reversal was common sense. And of Taranaki’s 10 competitors in the men’s singles, Alan Batley, Ian Andrews and John Garrud could all breathe a sigh of relief after they had lost in round one.

Batley had already won his second game when play was abandoned.

Vogeltown’s Dean Elgar had also finished his two games and won them both. He beat the 1992 fours winner Nick Grgicevich 21-19 and the 1996 singles champion Nino Vlahovic 21-18.

The best news from the women’s pairs was that West End’s Trish Howard and Lepperton’s Nellie Hewson scored their second win in round four to join the other six combinations in post section.

Those six pairs had already won two games each on Thursday.

For good measure, victories were secured in round four by Kath Brown and Gale Fache, Debbie Smith and Cathy Andrews, and Elaine Hodge and Val McEldowney.

The other three combinations lost in round four but still qualified for Monday’s post section. Those pairs are Margie Carey and Eileen Rothwell, Denise Cottam and Janice Ropitini, and Carolyn Harris and Gloria Shaw.

All of the big names in the women’s pairs escaped the cut, with national reps Claire McCaul (Silverstream) and Amy Brenton (Stoke), Karen Guilford (Johnsonville) and Feona Sayles (Northern), and Genevieve Baildon (Hillcrest) and Jan Shirley (Canterbury) all through.

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